Professionals Don't Need Scripts

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Seen recently on a Facebook post of a SWS-minded real estate agent (an agent who follows Sell with Soul philosophies):Script

"WHY THE SCRIPTS!? Are we not past this yet as business owners and marketing professionals? As humans? Really!?"

Hold that thought.

I went to the chiropractor yesterday - my hands have been aching lately and I was hoping to find some relief. When I checked in, the receptionist asked me a series of questions related to the Reason for my Visit - "What would you rate the pain on a scale of 1-10?" "Is the pain constant or intermittent?" "How long ago did this begin?" etc. etc. etc. She recorded my responses in my file and then asked me to take-my-seat, the-doctor-would-be-with-me-soon.

Fine. I'm sure she asks these questions a dozen or two times a day. 

So, the doctor-met-with-me-soon and asked me a similar set of questions as she was poking, prodding and twisting me around. "Does this hurt?" "Do you feel any tingling or numbness when I do this?" "Would you describe the pain as shooting or stiffness?"

Fine. I'm sure she asks these questions a dozen or two times a day.

In the hands of the receptionist, the questions are a script since she (probably) doesn't know much about what my responses to her questions actually mean. Not a problem; it's not the receptionist's job to cure what ails me; simply to gather information for the file. 

But when the chiropractor asks these questions, she's not doing it as part of a memorized spiel she learned in her chiropractor training - her questions are intentional and my responses are meaningful. Because... she's a professional. She understands the Big Picture. She knows what she NEEDS to know and how my responses fit into that Big Picture. 

With me? 

Okay, so back to the Facebook comment referenced above.

The comment was inspired by a training program the SWS-minded agent was participating in ("was" being the operative word here; she demanded her money back) that pushes memorized scripts for every conceivable prospect-or-client encounter. Her reaction was exactly the same as mine when I hear of this nonsense - "Seriously?? We need a SCRIPT to guide us through a CONVERSATION with someone we're hoping to inspire to trust us with a significant financial transaction? WHY? Do we not know what we need to know... and what we need to share...? Are we, as licensed real estate agents incapable of having an intelligent, meaningful conversation with a potential client? Are we, as adult human beings incapable of having an intelligent, meaningful conversation with another adult human being?" 

If you know what you're doing, you don't need a script to do it. Period. 




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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes
Jennifer, I am not a fan of scripts. You need to have your thoughts organized before called but you need to be yourself. Your doctor analogy is spot on. In sales, we are uncovering wants and needs.
Jul 29, 2013 11:59 PM #72
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I am reminded every time I watch a good movie that they had to memorize the script. Some do it so well you think it is spontaneous...amazing

Jul 30, 2013 12:03 AM #73
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I think there has to be a distinction between a current client or a lead. I believe, agents who are using scripts are doing so for the purpose of converting a lead. Although, I don't use scripts, I can see how they would be beneificial.

Your example of the difference between the receptionist and the chiropractor really drove the point home. They may have asked the questions differently but the information that was conveyed was the same. Scripts are used for the purposes of getting to the information we need to help the prospect further see the need for working with us.

While I am not a fan of people trying to "sell me", there is something to be said for getting all the information and showing we provide value. I view a script like an outline for a paper. There are certain topics that I need to discuss in the course of the conversation. Without the outline, I may forget an important element which may lead the prospect to another agent.

Jul 30, 2013 12:11 AM #74
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

I have never been a fan of scripts, although many years ago that is what one wa taught whenever you went to a sales seminar.  It does not work for me and to tell the truth I do not like it when someone uses one with me.

Jul 30, 2013 12:43 AM #75
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Shady Canyon Specialist

I like scripts in that they enable me to learn how to effectively transition from one part of a conversation to another ... then all I have to do is say it in my own words.

Jul 30, 2013 01:09 AM #76
Theresa Akin

I don't have a script but I do have notes for information on hand when speaking with a potential buyer or seller. Such as FSBOs and Expireds, when I call them. If their home has an MLS history, I have that on hand plus their property tax records.

Buyers (I Google or FACEBOOK). You can learn a lot about their work history if they have their employment noted. it will tell you if they like to be in a stable work environment and not move from job to job.

If I can't reach sellers by phone, I leave a message (v-mail) and/or text.  Then try to reach them again by phone by the end of the day. The next day if I still haven't had some kind of reply I send a quick letter already to be printed and mailed via USPS with business cards attached.

If I don't see any sign of the property on the market by the end of a week after having sent the letter, I try again by phone to check on the status of the property. I drive by the property, check the MLS, and the different websites.

I received a phone call from a very belligerent, mean and nasty mouthed seller. My only reply was that it was too bad he had such a bad experience with the last realtor(s).  Would he allow me to view his property so I could at least have current photos of what updates / information for a buyer I may have for him in the future and that being the case would he atleast work with me in that particular transaction? It was a couple years ago but I sold the house. Didn't get to list it, but sold it for him anyway.

If you have the information on hand that you need, you don't need a script. Due diligence is your script1

Jul 30, 2013 01:35 AM #77
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

The matter of scripts isn't black and white.  Sure, when you are dealing with significant issues such as one's personal finances or major purchases, conversation needs to be personalized and as common sensical as possible.  In certain instances where variables are forseen and superimposed into the scripts that are given to employees to be able to help them with certain transactions and non-sales related instances (census bureau, etc), scripts are almost a necessity.  Movies and television shows are a whole different arena combined with improv. 

Jul 30, 2013 02:10 AM #78
Paddy Deighan JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

I never thought about it in this manner but I agree with you!!   Professionals do not need a script..CLASSIC!!!!

Jul 30, 2013 07:37 AM #79
David Knox
David Knox Productions, Inc. - Minneapolis, MN

There are two kinds of scripts: knowing what to SAY and knowing what to ASK. I believe that you do need to know the proper questions to ask. Your example even made that point...the professionals were asking important questions.

I hear agents ask "Do you know of someone who is moving?" Bad question. Better is "Of all the people you know, who do you think would be the NEXT to move?" Better script.

The scripts of knowing what to SAY can often come off as canned and it's better to know the key points and relate them in language with which you are comfortable.

I've heard agents say the same wrong things over and they're scripted whether they admit it or not, and ineffective. So in that case, as long as they're scripted, might as well create better scripts.

Jul 30, 2013 07:54 AM #80
Tonya Chrislu
HomeSmart - Valencia, CA
Make the smart move!

Just passing the real estate exam does not make you a real estate professional; it makes you a real estate amateur.  

When you first start out, scripts can be very helpful.  However, the primary purpose of a script is to provide structure to your conversation.  It serves as a great jumping off point.

If you believe you can move a potential client from not working with you to working with you, you've probably developed a method (or "script") of your own.  It's probably a series of questions or responses that you use routinely.  You may not call it a script, but chances are you do things--effectively or ineffectively--the same just about every time.  Yes, you may vary your responses depending on the person you're talking to, but there are only so many scenarios that you have to learn and you've learned them.

To say that scripts have no value is not recognizing that you, in fact, have learned (through experience or memorization) ways to handle objections.  The ways to handle objections ARE your scripts; you just don't call them that.

A new Realtor can learn a great deal from scripts and accelerate learning by, yes, memorizing them. Once memorized, these scripts or responses are at your fingertips to use as appropriate. 

When I was an Executive Search Consultant, I was required to write out a new phone script for each recruiting assignment.  It was not so that I robotically read through it.  It was so that I would hit all the salient points and stay on track.  If I was interrupted by the person on the other end, I could get right back to my point.

Scripts can be valuable if you know how to use them!



Jul 30, 2013 10:17 AM #81
Jacqueline Drake CRS
Jacqueline Drake Realty - Saint David, AZ
Southeast Arizona land, farms & horse properties

I don't use scripts and never have. I am comfortable working with buyers and sellers and read people well. Some agents are sold on scripts but I think many can make an agent come across as a telemarketer. Perhaps they are needed by those who are not comfortable communicating with strangers. I think it's better to be genuine when talking with buyers and sellers. I think our clients appreciate it. We will always have differences of opinion on this issue.

Jacqueline Drake CRS

Jul 30, 2013 11:18 AM #82
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I often enjoy trying to bring sales people out of their script, some will eventually have a conversation with me and others get frustrated and just hang up.

Jul 30, 2013 02:42 PM #83
Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

It's time to just be yourself - but nothing wrong with having an outline of the points needed to cover for the day.

Jul 31, 2013 02:50 AM #84
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

When I get up in the morning and ask my boyfriend if he want Coffee, then eggs or oats does that mean I am using a script.

Aug 02, 2013 01:11 PM #85
Matt Thomson
Fathom Realty Colorado - Littleton, CO
Helping you find success through real estate

Wow, could I jump in any later? I'm sure this has been said, but I didn't wade through all 83 comments. The pastor who married me is a professional. And he used a script. President Obama (and every other president) is a professional, and he uses scripts. 

Scripts aren't there to build relationships. We can do that in conversations. They are tools that professionals use to make sure they have all the information they need, and they're tools to build confidence in professionals.

People are afraid of using tools because they're afraid of them. I'll get lots of people mad and contend that 90% if not more of the real estate agents producing $15M+ use scripts. Not to be disingenuous, but to make sure they are getting (and giving) all of the information they need. 

Aug 20, 2013 06:58 AM #86
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Great post! excellent comments, I use them when I need it! Thank you Jennifer for sharing!

Aug 26, 2013 02:08 AM #87
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Exactly.  I think the distinction is important.  We can all use better words sometimes, but in the mouth of a professional, it's not just a script.

Sep 09, 2013 02:50 AM #88
Katherine Flansburg
BCR Realtors 979-492-7830 - College Station, TX
Real Estate Professional in College Station, Texas

I don't like scripts, either. I feel like I can tell when someone is using one on me. Unless they are awesome and animated at delivery, they sound bored... and like they are regurgitating whatever they are telling me. Major turnoff. I have also noticed that people reciting scripts don't seem to look me in the eye as often when they are simply speaking to me. It seems like, to remember the script, they have to look somewhere slightly above my right shoulder. It's weird. Ick 

Jan 18, 2014 04:15 AM #89
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn you have a point. Script is the term so rigidly used, I felt like never working on scripts. What is important is - dialog with our clients about the process, about their mindset and about THEM!

If we listen, we last.

Oct 05, 2015 02:05 PM #90
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Well, I'm going to disagree. I believe scripts are needed when I'm doing something outside of my comfort zone. I need something prepared so that I can take the edge off. After a few times I'm sure I'll commit to memory, but for the first time...script please!

Aug 29, 2016 03:17 AM #91
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